Mini-article – good and bad places to buy PCs, printers and so on 

By | May 1, 2007
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May 2007 Newsletter

Well, it seems like summer is here at last. Unfortunately, my Vista update isn’t…

Mini-article – good and bad places to buy PCs, printers and so on
Instead of telling you how to do something, this month I want to do something a bit different that might be even more useful.

At the start of this year I bought a PC from Dell. As it was just before Vista came out, I went for one where it included an update to Vista after it came out. (I know I don’t recommend getting a new version of Windows until it’s ” bedded in ” but I need one so I can cover it in our books!)
A few weeks after Vista came out I asked where my update was and it turned out I had to register within a few weeks or I’d never get the update. Slightly miffed, I went on the Dell website to register only to find that the ” included ” update would cost me another ten pounds for P&P! I registered anyway and waited for my disk to arrive. And waited. And waited.
Eventually I emailed them to ask, to be told that shipping would begin the previous week. Another month later I emailed again to be told they couldn’t tell me when it would be sent but they hoped to have them all sent out by the end of May. Getting towards half a year after I ordered the PC!

After I calmed down, this set me thinking. I’m sure lots of people are in the same boat. And I’ll probably never buy a PC from Dell again (and since I choose the PCs for our customer service folk, that’s a fair loss to Dell). And I also know of other companies I have things to say about, some good, some bad. For example, if you want blank CDs or DVDs, and you are happy to buy over the internet, try UKDVDR – I’ve had very good service, quick delivery and good value for money.

And no doubt you’ve come across good and bad service for getting a PC, printer, ink or other computer related bits and pieces. Wouldn’t it be handy if there was a way of having everyone’s experiences, all in one place. So here’s what I’m asking you to do. Have a think of any computer related companies you’ve dealt with and you would recommend people use… or recommend that they avoid! Jot it down in an email and sent it to me (just reply to this email). Over the next month, I’ll collect this together so you can read all the comments about Dell, all the comments about Hewlett Packard and so on. I’ll send it out with next month’s newsletter. Then next time you want to buy something, you can have a look at the list and take that into account when you choose who to buy it from!

Please have a think and let me know about good and bad experiences. Thanks!

Download of the month – Vinyl Studio:
I quite often get asked about how you put music records or tapes onto the PC (or onto CD – which you can do once you’ve put them on the PC).
Here’s a program that you can download that makes it easier. I have to admit I only gave it a quick try (I like my old turntable!) but I’ve heard good things about it from other people who’ve used it. It’s shareware, which means you get to try it out for 10 records without paying and then if you want to use it more, you have to pay for it. Try before you buy!

Reader’s Question
Is it OK to have two anti-virus programs at once to make extra sure I’m safe?
I get asked this quite often (or the same thing with two firewalls) and the answer is no. They can trip each other up while they’re both trying to scan the same thing and as a result it actually becomes less safe. Stick to just one!

Word to the Wise – Wiki
A wiki is a type of website that’s updated by its users. For example a product review site where anyone can add a review. The most famous example is which is an online encyclopedia put together by thousands of people around the world. Wiki wiki means quickly in Hawaiian.

That’s all for this month… but don’t forget to let me know about good and bad computer firms you’ve bought from!

Tim Wakeling

All the above © Tim Wakeling 2007

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